The Georgia office of SparkPoint Innovations opened in October of 2012 when The Big Canyon Balloon was introduced to the Southeast region for the first time. One year later, Orbit Earth Expo debuted in Georgia and has been a big hit ever since. Rocky and Orb have taught GPS-aligned in-school science programs all over the state. Teachers love to have our programs back year after year as introductions, culminations, or Georgia Milestone support. 

Georgia’s programs are taught by Ginny Rushing and Holly Girten, certified teachers with passions for interactive, authentic learning!

With our huge, patented cold air canyon, we fast forward into the future to see how nature’s forces change our 15 ft tall canyon model. Students debate fast versus slow changes to the earth while they experience weathering, erosion and deposition. They participate to create landforms including a barrier island, a sand dune, and a delta. Forces causing erosion are explored as we pause to compare rocks and minerals – what is the difference? What are types of rocks we know and how are those formed? Inside the canyon, students will discover a fossil record and an oil deposit. What are the fossils telling the explorers about the relative age of these layers? How did the oil form? Is it a renewable or non-renewable natural resource? The answers to these questions and much more will be discovered during out unforgettable, interactive earth science programs for each grade level.

Learn more about Big Canyon Balloon in Georgia

Students journey into space to create and experience the cycles, systems and relationships between the earth, moon and sun using our huge, inflatable Earth model and scale-sized moon. While interacting with the inflatable representations in a darkened gymnasium with a light to represent the sun, students manipulate the models to experience eclipses, seasonal/lunar cycles, creation of winds, day/night cycles, tides, rotation vs revolution, physical characteristics of the earth, moon and sun, gravity, order of the planets, seasons and more! The Orbit Earth Expo Program correlates to the state and grade level science objectives. There are different age-appropriate programs for each grade level.

Learn more about Orbit Earth Expo in Georgia

Ginny Rushing, Owner & Lead Teacher, Georgia

Ginny Rushing

Owner & Lead Teacher, Georgia

Ginny was born in North Carolina and raised in Kentucky and Ohio, before returning to North Carolina to attend high school and college. After earning bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and psychology from Meredith College, Ginny taught elementary school in North Carolina and Texas. Ginny ultimately landed in Georgia and began SparkPoint Innovations, the company which brings the Big Canyon Balloon and Orbit Earth Expo in-school science programs to schools in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Minnesota. Ginny is married and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her two sons, two stepsons, and an ill-behaved geriatric beagle. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, and reading.

Holly Girten

Georgia Lead Teacher, Orbit Earth Expo

Holly started her teaching career in Denver, Colorado after attending the University of Northern Colorado and obtaining a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She taught First Grade for five years specializing in Math & Science. After meeting her husband and enjoying lots of Colorado activities, they relocated to Atlanta, GA with their sweet mutt, Tucker. Holly taught 2nd grade for three years while working on her Masters Degree of Teaching and Learning. Now she enjoys coming into schools and sharing her Passion about science with studens in a Big Memorable way with Orbit Earth Expo. She currently lives in Brookhaven with her one year old daughter Emma, Tucker the dog, and husband Brian. In her free time she likes trying new healthy recipes, hiking, and planning new adventurous travels. 

 

Amy Cooley

Georgia Support Teacher: Orbit Earth Expo & Big Canyon Balloon

Amy was born in Tennessee, spent most her youth in Alabama, and then graduated high school in Texas.  She graduated from the University of Oklahoma. She began her teaching career with Sylvan Learning Centers working with students ages 6 to 18 on math and reading. Wanting to be in the classroom, she then taught middle school math in Texas and Maryland. She also taught college math in North Carolina. Amy joined SparkPoint Innovations 2 years ago. She now lives in Cumming, GA with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys watching her kids in their activities, college football, movies, and antagonizing her cat, Mavis, with a laser pointer. 

 

From a teacher...

 

“Our teachers were impressed with how much you included and how well your presentation aligned to the standards. Many teachers I talked to said you both were hilarious. They loved your energy! The kids had a great time and have a better understanding of weathering and erosion. Fantastic!”

– Ashley McMath, 5th grade teacher, Blue Ridge Elementary

From a teacher...

“The Big Canyon Balloon presentation was a wonderful hands-on learning experience for Midway’s 3rd and 5th Graders! They were engaged in learning and reviewing important Earth Science Standards and were given fun ways to remember important vocabulary directly related to the standards! We will definitely use the program again for other Grade Levels at our school! Thanks again for coming to Midway where all students are learning to think scientifically!”

– Libby Romig, K-5 Science Lab, Midway Elementary School

From a student...

“This was the most awesomest thing I have ever seen in my life.”

– 3rd grade student

From a teacher...

“The Big Canyon Balloon was a fantastic review for the science CRCT in a fun, entertaining, and interactive way that this age MUST have!”

-Melodi Shanks, 6th grade science teacher

From a teacher...

“Thank you so much for these two assemblies!  All the teachers and kids really enjoyed it!  They loved the exposure to the vocabulary it gave our kiddos!”

-Kristin Poncheri, Science Lab, Fair Oaks Elementary, Marietta, GA

From a teacher...

 

“Thanks again for a great experience!!! The feedback from almost all the kids was that they loved it as well. I asked every class what was the coolest thing or something that they learned and every class was truly fascinated by the actual size difference of Earth and the sun.”

-Chris Vernon, 6th grade science teacher, Woodland Middle School, Stockbridge, GA

From a student...

“I love your presentations over every other presentation I have ever seen because your enthusiasm keeps everyone excited and engaged!”

-Emily Oldani, 6th grader, Otwell Middle, Cumming, GA

From a teacher...

 

 

“Our school loved the Grand Canyon visit last May. The teachers felt it was the best review of those earth science TEKS (standards) that they have ever seen or could imagine seeing. We are interested in having your team visit and do their “magic” [again].”

-DeAnna Jezisek ETAG/ Science Fair and Science Day Contact – Forest Creek Elementary

From a teacher...

“What a fabulous way to bring change over time into our midst. Exciting and informational!”

-Melanie Nelson- Kindergarten Teacher

From a teacher...

“I had a great time and so did my students!”

-Julie Trokey – 3rd Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“Thank you for showing my students science in real life! This helped them to better understand what they learn in my classroom”

-Lisa Marré- 4th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“WOW! I love the model and how many TEKS you cover! Earth Science came to life today!”

-Janette Wiatrek- 4th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“The presentation was absolutely outstanding! Hats off to you! We’ll see you next year!”

-Yolanda Brantford- 5th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“This in incredible! Thanks so much for an incredible experience for our students who may never get to experience the Grand Canyon in real-life.”

-Ashlee Smith- 5th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“This is a fantastic presentation geared for the age level and connecting the learning with the student’s own experiences.”

-Larry Hollon- 5th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“I enjoyed the energy of the presenters and having the students interact with the model.”

-John Magbuhgt- 5th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“It was a fun way to teach the students science. I’m sure they will not forget the concepts they were taught today. It was easy and clear for them to understand [the speakers].”

-Ana Rebecca K-5th Grade Teacher

From a teacher...

“I would recommend this program to any school. It is informative and it held the attention of the students.”

-Ray Trosper- K-5th Grade Special Education Teacher

From a Science Coach...

“Our presenters tailored the activities to meet our needs. Great job!”

-a Science Instructional Coach

From a Teacher...

“I saw the Big Canyon program for the first time approximately 8 years ago. This program reinforced my teaching on so many levels. The presenters are energetic, professional and have students interact with processes that take years to form. We love this program so much we have had them come back year after year! Can’t wait until next year!”

-5th grade teacher, Bear Creek Intermediate

From a District Science Specialist...

“Presentations were excellent! Our students were able to make deep connections on Earth science concepts with the interactive word walls, songs, kinesthetic movements, visuals, mnemonic devices, and much more!”

-Melonie Flores, K-12 Science Specialist, Harlingen CISD

From a District Science Specialist...

 

“The presenters did an amazing job of engaging the students! We were impressed not only by the visual display itself, but also by the vocabulary cards that displayed academic vocabulary in both English and Spanish. We also loved that the students were active participants throughout the presentation. We’d recommend SparkPoint to anyone wanting to offer a memorable science experience to their students.”

-Holly Maldonado, Science Strategist, Los Fresnos CISD

From a Principal...

 

“Great Presentation!! Students were actively involved throughout the presentation. Excellent correlation with TEKS.”

-Antonio De La Cerda, Principal, Valley View 5th Grade Campus

From a PTA Member...

 

 

“Thank you so much for an amazing day at Grand Oak Elementary! The students and teachers truly enjoyed [their] presentations and I have heard from many parents about how excited their children were when they got home.”

-Kelly Duffy, Grand Oak PTA Contact

From a Teacher...

“Orb brought the Earth & Planet unit to life for my students!”

-6-8 EC teacher, West Stanly Middle School

From a Teacher...

“If you want to see for yourself the moon in a Geosynchronous-orbit, and view the different features of our Earth from a space perspective then the Orbit Earth Exhibit is for you.”

-Robert Naylor, 5th grade teacher, Winget Park Elementary

From a STEM Coach...

“This was a great program. It definitely helped dispel some misconceptions from ‘Smaller’ scale teaching.”

-Megan Mcnutt, STEM Coach, JN Fries Magnet Middle

From a Teacher...

“Orbit Earth Expo is phenomenal! It is a great way for students to make connections with the solar system which they learned in third grade to the content they will learn in fourth grade. Experience how Earth rotates, tilts , and orbits the sun while seeing the moon orbit the Earth helps their awareness of day and night as well as seasonal changes. Orbit Earth Expo is exciting and engaging for all involved.”

-Karen Sanders, 4th grade teacher, Winget Park Elementary

From a Principal...

 

“Students (and staff) thoroughly enjoyed the Orbit Earth Expo today! Students learned about the earth’s movements and the role it plays in our days and nights, and the changing of the seasons. We were able to see why a solar or lunar eclipse occurs, and what causes the phases of the moon. A giant 14 ft. diameter earth brought the science to life. We are so thankful for “Miss Tracy” who kept our kids mesmerized while they learned.”

-Jane Wallace, principal, Hunter Street Elementary

Districts

Schools

Classes

Students

Where Have Rocky and Orb Taught?

Atlanta

Alpharetta

Milton

Cumming

Carrollton

Buford

Johns Creek

Dallas

Acworth

Canton

Suwanee

Marietta

Sharpsburg

Smyrna

Mableton

Duluth

Dunwoody

Lilburn

Albany

Dalton

Sandy Springs

Woodstock

Kennsaw

Ringgold

Tifton

Conyers

Griffin

Rincon

Roswell

Locust Grove

Waleska

Snellville

Grayson

Norcross

Sugar Hill

Rome

Ocilla